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Audit Response: Public Comments

Date Individual
Organization
Comment
11-21Cathie Metheny
Teacher
Marion County BOE
Fairmont, Wv
I currently teach in the Transition to Teaching program and while we are filling the need doe special educators in the southern part of the state, these individuals still lack general knowledge of child development. Counties around us see RIFs every year. It's hard for me to imagine that we cannot find certified, trained teachers to fill classrooms. Perhaps we need to look at pay scales. Concerning evaluating teachers, who is evaluating principals? I have been fortunate to work under qualified leaders who encouraged us to be risk takers and empowered us to make decisions that truly benefitted students, but I also know principals that do not understand curriculum and student achievement. Our RESA is virtually non functional with the exception of equipment repair. I don't think anyone even knows who is on the RESA staff and if they are qualified to offer professional development. The WV Center for Professional Development, on the other hand, offers professional development that is useful. Lastly, the issue of year round schools. I have spoken with teachers at Cameron and they take a longer than 3 week break in the summer. They are not following the 45/15 schedule. I can't imagine having a break from my first graders every nine weeks for 3 weeks. It would be like starring in "Groundhog Day". And if someone is concerned that kids don't eat in the summer, who do you think is going to feed them the 12 weeks they are not in school on the 45/15 schedule. Thank you for allowing me to comment on these issues.
11-24Matt Thompson
Letart, WV
I would agree with the Audit's findings. An overhaul of our educational system is long overdue. I am hopeful the State Board takes action on these recomendations ASAP. Our current system seems to reward those that can't teach and not the ones who can. Our children deserve better.
11-25First, we are displease that our schools in Calhoun County have not made AYP and the status quo remains. We feel that if administrators are not doing their jobs then shouldn't policies that keep them in office or a high paying job be changed, too. Should board members and Superintendents who have a failing record for 2 or more years still be there? I think Superintendents should be elected by the people of their counties versus 5 people. And board members should not have spouses who work for their same boards. This is a conflict of interest, especally in small counties. Sadly, most parents and community members do not care enough or do not feel empowered to be vocal. I think many of these jobs like principals, school improvement directors, Superindents, should be voted by the people who actually have children in these schools and based on records versus tenure. We need people in these positions that can get the job done and make positive changes! How many second chances do we give? How long do our schools suffer? If you are going to put power in local hands, give it to the people who have childen in these schools-- parents-- versus our local administrators who keep failing us.  
 
Shouldn't pay scales reflect the load of teachers and the work hours involved. You cannot tell me that my daughter's P.E. teacher puts in the same number of hours as her English or math teacher. This is typically not the case. Nor do they have the same responsility to WESTEST or my child's education. The pay scale should reflect this.  
 
Yes, these are radical changes, but we need radical change in WV. Are you not tired at being at the bottom?
11-25Jackie
teacher
PHE
Grantsville, WV
Here's thought... who knows their students better or their schools? It isn't administrators, who have never darken our schools or our classrooms but dictate from their ivory towers, or even principals.... teachers and students. Give teachers an opportunity to improve our own schools...creation of teacher administrators empowered by their colleagues and parents.  
 
Teachers need to run their own schools and lead the improvement process versus the state and county administrators telling us what to do. We need to lead the charge in a more powerful way. These people at the top, like administrators, should have less power than those of us who are in the trenches and taking all the heat. However, no one seems to ask us or the students. Ask us what programs and polices work and more importantly-- what doesn't. We have an administrator who dictates to us without coming into our schools to see the effectiveness of it. There is something wrong with this picture.  
Administrators should not be housed in some separate building but their offices need to be in the heart of schools as well as Superintendents. Haven't seen him either. They need to see first hand what is happening in the schools they need to improve!!
11-25Chad Spencer
Teacher
Berkeley County Schools
Inwood, WV
The first action to be taken should be the immediate dismissal of the entire State Board of Education. You are the leaders of what is corrupting our education system.  
Wade Linger and Gayle Manchin are only on the board because they are a friend or family member (can you say nepotism) to former Gov. Joe Manchin.  
 
Secondly, West Virginia's education system needs to help change the culture of this state and let people know that it is not okay to live in the deplorable conditions that many do willingly.  
 
We have lost thousands of jobs because we have an uneducated citizenry who are unwilling to further their knowledge of basic information because "it's the way it's always been in my family."  
 
Kids come into my classroom everyday not knowing basic information about life and people and events that happen outside their community. Yet, you expect me to work miracles and make them proficient readers and writers in one grade year (these are 11th graders, too).  
 
I have had administrators pressure me to pass seniors who don't show up for school or who refuse to complete work simply so we can say we graduate a certain percentage of our students. Maybe our slogan should be "West Virginia: Where we graduate more than 80% or our students, but they're dumber than the blocks that built our schools."  
 
Stop allowing schools to pass students who are truly not ready for the next level. I should NEVER see a student in 11th grade who cannot read a paragraph. NEVER. But your policies allow this to happen every year.  
 
Change the school year to year round and require students to pass an exit exam before moving on to the next grade level and also as a requirement for graduation.  
 
Sincerely,  
Chad Spencer
11-25Scottie Westfall
Teacher
WVEA
Grantsville,, WV
I am currently teaching in rural West Virginia. The recent audit raises a number of isses: (1) There are not enough qualified teachers who will substiute in our system. My experience with other college graduates who are permitted to substitue is that they have very little training in newest technology, classroom management, child development, or many of the necessary skills that good teachers must have. (2) Creating a competitve environment for raising test scores is also counter-productive. Take a look at other systems where pressure is caused many to cheat (3) Education cannot be treated as a business. There are many variables that impact a child's learning. The only variable a teacher has control of is the amount of time spent in the classroom. Hunger, uninvolved parents or being raised by grand parents, tired or unmotivated students, homelife, are just a small portion of detractors to education in our society today. (4) Paper work for ordinary teachers is overwhelming: projedct based learning (teachers spend hours researching the best projects suitable for their grade level and that would align to the CSO's and also come up with an appropriate assessment.), maintaining a paper trail of all class work as an artifact that the CSO's were actually taught and mastered, grades both on paper and on edline, collaborative time with special educators to bill medicaid, the students are assessed to death: Wes Test, Acuity, Odyssey, Dibels, MAP testing, as well as all of the teacher assessments make students hate school. We have the data, but not enough time to teach what students need to know. (5) Research has proven that there is not enough time for educators to develop a meaningful relationship with students. Everyone is so busy with all of the "stuff," that everyone wants done to prove that educators are indeed earning their pay that no one takes time to get to know the students which is essential in today's society for success. (6) The State Board of Education should be very aware of nepotism and cronyism because apparently that is how most of you obtained your positions. It was not on qualifications or concern for education. Yet, everytime there is a news conference or media there you always preface it with "the best for the students."  
In conclusion, I have spent 34 years in education trying to do what was expected of me in the classroom and also out of the classroom. When cuts started in education about 20 years ago, I did not know from year to year if I would be employed or not. I was lucky many times that I did not get the short straw when we drew straws. On my meager salary, and trying to support a family, I took night classes which were very expensive to obtain another degree is psychology. I certainly don't appreciate the casual way that teachers are treated as if they can easily be replaced with other non-teaching college graduates who are just eager to become teachers.
11-26Jackie Dawson
teacher
Calhoun Board of Ed.
Grantsville, WV
I would like to add that the highlighted comment regarding releases the policy bonds should go hand-in-hand with the examination of programs.  
 
I know that as a second grade teacher we must DIBEL (fluency monitoring program) intensive and strategic students every 2 weeks, complete 6 techsteps (computer program), teach all content area subjects including health (our P.E. teacher is not certified to do this), prepare them for the state writing examine, not to mention an essay for Young Writers in February, teach Map test standards, do walk-to prep, and now prepare lesson plans for self-management (etc.) based on policy 4373, enter discipline into the WVEIS website, enter any computer problems into the tech site, and document for SAT meetings (one to one sessions and peer interventions). Now, we have to collect student data to put in data folders to justify our grades and eventually support the new grading system (novice, etc.). Students have to determine how they feel about their mastery of these and document their daily behavior in this book, too, as well as set academic goals. Parents sign it once a week. We have to keep track all of this. Also, our principal has added to the pile. We must use Accelerated math and IXL math sites.  
My colleagues are also under this pressure and WESTEST pressure, too. They must teach their students to write and type for the state assessment. Neither our school or county made our AYP. But, when do we get time to teach???  
 
This is way too much! Less is more!!!  
 
 
 
Respectively,
11-26Jeffrey Woofter
Assistant Principal
Oak Glen High School
New Cumberland, WV
It took me three paragraphs into the introduction to realize that this entire document wasn't worth reading. The State Board of Education stated, "Our duty is to provide the ideas, direction, inspiration, and, yes, supervision necessary to secure that fundamental right of a thorough and efficient system of free schools for each and every student in West Virginia".  
 
How arrogant to think that 7 members of a board, regardless of who they are, are responsible for the ideas and inspiration of an entire educational system.
11-26Mrs. L. Smith
Teacher
Schools System Staff
West Union, WV
As a teacher in the county, I think it is ridiculous the amount of school improvement money that our county has spent on one school to try and make AYP and they're still not making it. They currently have a "turnaround specialist" in place that is in his third year in the school making $109,000 a year and the school has not made AYP for the last seven years. What's really crazy is that the principal, assistant principal and the turnaround specialist in the school have no experience in working with elementary school children, so how are they going to know what's best for these children? In my opinion, our state is not doing a very good job of finding the best people to get the job done. There's an awful lot of the "good old boys" network out there and if you know the right person or vote the right way, you can get the job.
11-26Finally, we have a State Board that has the vision and the courage to make the right decisions to positively impact the education of our students.  
 
The State Board's recommendations/proposals are exactly where we, as educators, need to be heading. By enacting their recommendations I believe that I will be able to guide and direct my school to significantly improve our educational programs and delivery.
11-26John Dahlia
Parent
Fairmont, WV
As a parent and member of the West Virginia community with two childred attending public school in Marion County, I want to applaud the State School Board of Education for it's swift action on the audit. We have to move our school system in a different direction. Our children are in desperate need of a better, more responsive, and agile system. I beleive the action by the State Board of Eduction is certainly moving things forward.  
 
Thank you and please keep up the great work for our children.  
 
Sincerely,  
John Dahlia  
Parent
11-26It is about time that the chaos that exists within our education system getting reeled in. Thanks so much to the BOE and President Linger for having the courage to stand up and take charge. The proposals of the BOE are drastically needed...and have been needed for about two decades at least. Please implement the proposals and don't stop until it is finished.  
 
Thank you State BOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11-26All of the proposed changes have been long overdue. I am so happy to see that the BOE is trying to eliminate the bureaucracy and politics that have choked the life out of our education system. Finally the BOE is clearly laying the vision to improve the education for our kids.  
 
Keep it up and do not give up on the implementation of your proposals.
11-27Maria Marsicano
Teacher
Harrison County
Clarksburg, WV
I am not able to view this document. It keeps closing unexpectedly.
11-27Dr. Maria T. Baxter
Spanish Teacher
North Marion High School
Farmington, WV
Teacher preparation changes: For world languages all teachers need to take the content knowledge exam.Curently teacher who are certified 5-7 are not required to take that exam. That is ridiculous. Many teachers do not know anything about Spanish therefore they don't teach. The cut off line should be raised to 175, the current 144 is too low.  
Teacher salaries: salaries for teachers must increase, we earn half of what teacher earn in Pennsylvania but we pay taxes on clothes. We need to catch up. It is ridiculous how low teacher pay is in WV. We work hard and deserve it. It is dangerous to not use seniority and qualifications for raises. It lends itself to unjustices based on friendships.  
Teacher evaluations: should be fair. Principals should implement plan o improvement as needed but they don't have the guts many times.  
Principals evaluations: there should be some input from teachers in the principals evaluations. Often the problem are the principals who aren't noable to implement discipline to students or teacher due to friendships. They should have 10 years of real teaching experience in order to get their principal certification. Many are not qualified.  
Their pay should be also 48th in the nation as teachers or increase in the same proportion. If teachers get 2%, so should principals and superintendents. They way it is superintendents may get 15% pay raises while teacher get 2%. Not fair.  
Year round school: it is counter productive to have so many breaks through the year. Rach time there is a break, even if it is a three day weekend, the students get out of schedule, they are sleepy and didn't study. Having 15 day breaks will result in teacher wasting several days each time to get student into pace. That will not yield success. Look at successful countries, in Europe, students take eleven subject a year and still have a six week summer vacation.  
Students should have summer assignments for the next year, reading specially, summer camps like the Spanish Immersion camp last summer are a wonderful way to maintain and improve skills. That was a great initiative of Dr. Marple.  
Students need to work harder all year. They should not be idle in the summer. We teachers need the principals and the superintendents to suppport us when the parents complain that the students have tool much studying to do and interferes with the sports. Sports are important and arefun but they are secondary to academics. Academic should rule over athletics but that is not happening in most schools. The difference between our school and the Japanese, CHinese and European schools, is the inclusion and emphasis on athletics. We need to decrease the emphasis on athletics, and instead have phys. ed classes for all to make them healthy, every year, and create good exercise habits. The initiatives of Dr. Marple for exercising in schools were marvelous.  
 
I am all for higher standards in West Virginia. We need to required final exam for all subjects at the end of all semesters, for all students. In Marion COunty, final exams are a punishment for missing too many classes. That needs to change so students need to revisit their knowledge and study before the end of the semester to earn a part of their semester grade that summarizes what they learn. Final exams for all is the way to go and it is done in Ohio, and many other states. Why isn't it done in Marion COunty?  
 
I want to demand more and raise the level of achievement of my students. Please listen to us teachers, because we are in the classroom with the children every day dealing with all the issues. We know what we need. Any national study may or may not apply to our communities and problems.  
 
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.  
A teacher with high expectations, high qualifications, and the desire to improve the education in West VIrginia,  
Sincerely,  
Dr. Maria Teresa Baxter, Ed.D., M.A. B.S., NBCT
11-28Dale Keenan
Teacher
Brooke High School
Wellsburg, WV
I am not sure if a year around approach to school doesn't create its' own set of problems. Looking at my situation as a Career Tech teacher. I currently have a summer job to enhance my earning power which can't be changed to 4 times a year. Therefore my earning power is decreased. My class and shop reach temps. over 90 degrees during the summer months unless AC is installed in all shops.I know this because I have a 220 day contract to repair county vehicles which will have to be burdened to Bus garage or sourced out, more expense. Many teachers and I attend CE training workshops during the summer, other than those offered by the State Dept. They are usually more field oriented such as my field is Auto Technology. I don't see how this lessens teacher burn out when we work to have our down time in the summers. I believe more teachers would go back into the field for employment. If we are going to work year around, we might as well have a job that pays well.
11-28Denise Stalnaker
Instructor
Randolph Technical Center
Elkins, WV
I was once told by a member of the state department that a chemistry teacher (who had worked in the chemistry industry before getting her teaching degree) had only taught a few years so couldn't know what students needed to learn. The state department representative said that she have been in the school system for over 20 years and she knows what the students need to learn. Yes we need a change when that is the attitude of those leading our educational system.  
 
I teach business technology classes and my curriculum changes every couple of years. I have to constantly continue to learn and change as technology changes. I am paid the same as "regular teacher" who uses the same lesson plans year after year. If test scores are not the only criteria it would be nice to be rewarded for the things that teachers do above and beyond.  
 
Please make some changes that will be in the best interest of the students in our state and not just what one or two individuals at the top think are important.
11-29WV
Finally we have a board that is willing to do the right thing for our kids. It is apparent that the education associations only care about protecting employees and seldom, if ever, care about what is best for students.  
 
thanks to the BOE for having the vision and courage to do the right thing. Keep the course.
11-29Kelly Gates
Secretary / Coordinator
Wood County Schools
Parkersburg, WV
This will be the first of many comments. When Wood County was Forced to join the rest of the state by using WVEIS, we had to take several steps backward. We already had in place a very progressive computer system and our own programmers. Then we had to take more steps backward when we had to join the state food service system, and also had to spend thousands of dollars on software to replace our financial bookkeeping system, both programs were written and maintained at the county level. Also, instead of beefing up the RESA system, I suggest doing away with the RESAs all together. That way the counties could regulate what happens to our student records without having to ask permission of the RESA employees, who don't work in the schools and usually have no point of reference.
11-29Kelly Gates
Secretary / Coordinator
Wood County Schools
Parkersburg, WV
My daughter is a senior and is currently enrolled in the Firefighting program at the Caperton Center in Parkersburg. My son received technical training at the Wood County Technical Center at Parkersburg South High School. Both of these programs are exceptional. I feel that more technical schooling opportunities need to be provided to our "average" students. Not all students will go to a four year college. Those students need to be able to learn a trade so they can become productive members of society. Auto mechanics, firefighters, sheet metal workers, electricians, installation technicians, computer repair, plumbing, construction...All of these things are being taught, but class size is limited because of funding. Every student who wants to go into one of these fields should be able to take the classes. Our vocational director could fill lots more classes, but unfortunately the instructors payroll falls outside the school funding formula. If we want WV students to succeed, we have to educate them so they may graduate from our high schools and go to work making a living wage in a skill based field.
12-04Joyce
Paraprofessional
Fisher
Charles Town, WV
Parent and Professioanal Support Staff
12-04Joyce
Paraprofessional
Fisher
Charles Town, WV
As a Parent and Professioanal Support Staff I highly approve of the recomendationsthere in. The road map to success will require a fine tuned GPS to ensure it's follow though.
12-10Heather Wood
school nurse
Cabell County Board of Education
Huntington, WV
School nurses are an important component of a coordinated school health program. The health of students directly impacts their ability to learn. The roles of the school nurse and a school based health center are very different and must work together to help students stay healthy and stay in school. School nurses provide care to all students but school based health centers are businesses that must charge for services rendered. Sustainability is a struggle for school based health centers across the country and if they took on the role of school nurse, their billable visits would decrease. The nurse practitioners in school based health centers are quite capable to write care plans and teach school personnel about medication administration or diastat administration or seizure management or gastrostomy feedings but they have very little time to spend supervising or troubleshooting during the day. Physician assistants are not familiar with care plans as this is part of a nursing education not a physician assistant education. Students come to school with a multitude of health care needs that are managed by the school nurse. Please consider the health of the most fragile of students who need a school nurse.
12-11Laura Greathouse
Board member
Hancock County Board of Education
WV,
I read these same proposals in the sixties and every decade since. As a board member and former teacher who remains in close contact with those I taught with, I personally know the frustration of the classroom teachers who believe they must push students above their capabilities instead of taking time for exploration and uderstanding of concepts. Several of our best teachers in our county are currently looking for work outside of the classroom. These are National Board certified teachers who take their teaching very seriously and now feel they are not being permitted to teach anything except "The Test". They believe the state no longer cares for the children, but only for whether or not the test scores are good. Our teachers who care are frustrated and stressed. We know what must be done. Let the good teachers teach and get rid of the bad teachers, then let the teachers teach. Test scores will come up.
12-12Dr. Pat Kusimo
President/CEO
The Education Alliance
Charleston, WV
The Education Alliance commends the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) for prioritizing student learning in its “From Audit to Action” response.  
 
While the WVBOE’s comments are detailed and thoughtful, we believe the response should also include how students will measurably benefit from recommendations and how the WVBOE will prioritize and work with others (agencies, local school boards and school improvement councils, faith communities, the business community, etc.) to improve factors that profoundly impact student learning in West Virginia. Those include teen pregnancy; gaps in students’ pre-school readiness associated with income, gender or ethnicity; truancy; children living in dysfunctional home environments; and children living in poverty. Addressing these real challenges will benefit current students and future generations of students.  
 
While the Education Efficiency Audit aimed to “produce the best outcomes for West Virginia students and ensure West Virginia receives the highest return on the educational dollars it spends,” the WVBOE’s response can add the additional dimensions of measurable accountability and advocacy for addressing community and family challenges that impede student learning. The following details The Education Alliance’s position.  
 
Measurable Student Benefits.  
The Efficiency Audit addresses student benefits in a general manner, but the WVBOE has an opportunity to articulate the improved student outcomes it expects from its recommendations. Currently, the WVBOE focuses on what educators will do and receive without identifying for the public and itself the measurable student benefits. The Education Alliance believes the Call to Action must articulate the relationship between the Call to Action responses and measurable benefits to students.  
 
We encourage the WVBOE to state how its audit responses will measurably improve or increase the following student outcomes such as : test scores on state or national assessments; grade-level retentions; enrollment in rigorous mathematics and science courses; the percentage of third-grade students achieving mastery or above in reading/language arts by the end of third grade; high school completion rates; etc.  
Community and Family Challenges.  
 
We believe the Call to Action should acknowledge specific challenges that many West Virginia students endure daily. While these challenges were not mentioned in the Efficiency Audit, they are realities that profoundly affect a student’s ability to learn. They are the teen pregnancy rate; student achievement gaps based on income, gender or ethnicity that students bring to their pre-school experience; truancy; children living in dysfunctional home environments; and children living in poverty. Each of these profoundly affects student learning; curriculum; instructional time; teacher effectiveness; the educational quality of a classroom, school or county; and the accessibility, availability, and usefulness of educational technology.  
 
Poverty and Dysfunction. Research shows children growing up in poverty lag behind their middle-class peers or peers from stable homes in terms of vocabulary skills; comprehension skills; social skills; and self-regulation skills even as they begin the schooling process before kindergarten. In West Virginia, 56 percent of West Virginia students receive a free or reduced-priced lunch. One in five West Virginia children is born with significant exposure to drugs or alcohol. Many children live with “toxic stress” that is severe, sustained and not buffered by supportive relationships.  
 
Teen pregnancy. West Virginia’s birth rate for females between the ages of 15 and 19 increased by 17 percent between 2007 and 2009. Nationally, the teen birth rate fell 8 percent. A child’s chances of growing up in poverty are nine times greater if the child is born to an unmarried teen without a high school diploma.  
 
The Importance of Third Grade. The implications of not addressing family and community challenges are far reaching, making it virtually impossible for students to reach critical academic benchmarks early in their school careers. One such benchmark is third-grade reading proficiency. Many states have recently enacted policies that retain students in third grade if they do not meet or exceed the reading benchmark. However, the WVBOE’s Call to Action does not include any recognition of the third-grade reading benchmark or current achievement gaps in third grade WESTEST2 reading/language arts scores that are associated with ethnicity, income, or gender.  
 
Courageous Conversations.  
The Education Alliance believes the community and family challenges we’ve noted must be systematically addressed. However, this will happen only if the WVBOE assigns a high priority to working on these issues collaboratively and ceaselessly. As uncomfortable as these realities are, the WVBOE’s Call to Action must acknowledge and reflect what we know to be true about West Virginia’s student population even if the Efficiency Audit did not. Compelling evidence shows family and community impediments to academic success can be minimized if tackled early and comprehensively.  
 
At-risk students exist in every county and need at least 180 days of high quality instruction. Expanded learning opportunities — after school and/or summer programs — can help minimize academic disparities and help break the cycles of poverty and teen parenthood.  
 
The WVBOE has an opportunity to model for local school boards and the public how recommendations translate into measurable benefits for students, not just fiscal efficiency. Incorporating information about the daily family and community-related challenges facing many West Virginia children informs public dialogue about education and creates an environment for meaningful collaboration among students, educators, community and business leaders, policymakers, and citizens. An example of how powerful these collaborations can be is the work currently underway at local and state levels to improve student attendance rates and reduce dropout rates.  
 
Children depend on thoughtful, informed adults to create pathways to success. If the adults are successful, current student achievement patterns will be a memory instead of our current and tragic reality.
12-12Amy Robertson
Principal
Crawley, WV
I have spent alot of time reviewing over the responses to the recent audit. I will say as a younger administrator, with only a few years behind me, I was quick to realize a definite change was long overdue in our educational system. As an Admiministrator being granted more control over the hiring and termination of staff, and being able to seek the best fit for my students is so exciting. I'm in the business to educate and help students succeed.I want to select what I feel is the best for my students, not who has the most seniority. I also love the idea of accountability with Administrators as well. I want to be held accountable. If an Administrator is not leading an effective school, there should be termination. So many times a school becomes stuck with staff who do not share the vision, Administrators who are not capable to lead and staff who are not willing to grow professionally. Teachers become stuck in doing the same thing they did twenty years ago, and Administrators that simply show up to work. Sadly students loose interest, and eventually the school begins to "die". If I had the opportunity to hand pick and be selective with the best teachers for my kids, I would choose staff very wisely. I want invigorating, dedicated and passionate teachers who love teaching children. I have always said when you walk in a school I believe each school has a "heart" that you feel as soon as you walk in the building. I want my "heart" of my school to be warm, welcoming, and exciting. I want my teachers enthusiastic about building life long learners. I only hope this opportunity becomes reality. Otherwise, I feel we are denying our children what they so deserve....a quality education and reaping the benefits of obtaining.
12-14Dottie Bowman
Teacher of the Gifted
Raleigh County Schools
Beckley, WV
This is a general comment as the board works on implementing policies that will improve education for all students. I believe that more aides and support staff need to be hired to perform the duties in the schools that do not require a highly qualified teacher. I have 1 and a half hours of duties everyday- boys bathroom monitor in the morning, lunchroom supervision and parent pickup supervision in the afternoon. You pay me close to 50,000 a year to be a teacher and yet for one and half hours a day I am performing duties that could be done by anyone who can pass the screening tests. Would it not be more productive to hire people at minimum wage to perform the day to day housekeeping tasks that need to be done in the schools on a daily basis and allow me to work on preparing and delivering high quality lessons for my students?
12-14Emily Jones
What about parent accountability? That is the root of the school system's problem. We can't continue to place accountability on teachers but not place any on the students and parents. What do they have to lose if they don't do well on tests? Nothing. They still move onto the next grade level. There are no consequences. Student achievement will also never improve without an improvement of the home environment that our children come from. How are they supposed to do well on theses tests if they are dirty, hungry, abused, neglected, tired, cold, or sick? It all starts at home. There is too much blame being placed on educators that pour their heart and soul into these children and then have it erased when they go home.
12-15Rose Gordon
teacher
Craigsville Elem
Craigsville, wv
One of the things that I agree with is that the RESA's should be disbanded. I, and most of the teachers in my school, have not been impacted in the least by RESA. It really is just a place for retired principals and superintendent's buddies to get a high paying job. The money given to RESA should be used for our students. Also, teachers should be paid a competitive salary, but there should also be help for teachers that want to pursue a Masters Degree. I would love to have an option of using a pay raise to pay for furthering my education. We need our Board of Education members to take an active role in education. When these public servants are elected, they should be instructed that part of their duties is to visit each school in their county during every school year at least once. There should also be a cap on the salaries of county superintendents, no one should be paid more than $100,000 a year. That way, you would get people who are really interested in educating our children, not ones in it to gain financially. Teachers and parents should have a say in who should be the principal at their school. They should be able to evaluate the job that their principal is doing. Most principals are hand picked by the superintendents, so very few superintendents will give an honest evaluation of them. They don't want to admit that their choice was not the right one.
12-17Kellee Shuttleworth
As an elementary classroom teacher, I think that we are testing and benchmarking our students too much. We are also expending massive amounts of energy and money on "SPL" to what avail? Instead of lowering our curricular standards and making things easy so that we are not challenging the majority of our students, we should be focusing on engaging and challenging our students to THINK. Increasingly, classroom teachers are being forced to "dumb down" the curriculum. Please give us some autonomy to engage our students in MEANINGFUL learning activities, not state mandated fluff.
12-17Shane Shaffer
Teacher
NA
Martinsburg, WV
First, I want to begin by saying that I am the father of three children who attend the public schools in West Virginia. I have spent 13 years teaching students. For ten of those years, I taught in Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, which is considered a "high performing" district in our country. For all of those ten years, my fourth grade students took the high-stakes Standard of Learning tests each spring. My students passed between rates of 95%-100% year after year in mathematics and reading. For the past three years, I have taught in Berkeley County Schools. I was a 7th grade science teacher my first year in Berkeley County at Spring Mills Middle School. 53% of my science students achieved a proficient/mastery/above mastery score or better on the WESTEST for the 2010-2011 school year. When you look at this score when you compare it to my pass rates in Virginia, one might think how terrible. The students whom I taught went from pass rates in the high 90's to the low 50's once I came to West Virginia. When I compare the science scores to other science scores in my county, the 53% was the highest percentage in my entire county (there are 5 other middle schools). In reality, these scores were quite good. But, of course, we want to improve on these scores.  
 
The reason I tell you these above facts are for this reason. Was I an "exceptional" teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia for 10 years? But, then I was a "poor" quality teacher in West Virginia because my students all of a sudden scored 53% on the WESTEST? I can tell you that I put more sweat, tears, and effort into my teacher in WV than I ever did in Virginia. The students needed "more" from me. Teachers cannot be judged based on a single test score. It is not appropriate. Many experts in the data and educational fields have done research which shows that evaluating teachers based on test scores does NOT improve student achievement, nor is it fair to the teachers.  
 
Having said this, I also feel that ineffective teachers must be removed from the classroom. Principals and teachers can identify weak or ineffective teachers very quickly. Teachers who are ineffective do not last in education in today's educational environment. It is time to let the teachers teach. Respect them. Allow them to do their jobs. The current system in place still weeds out ineffective teachers. Principals do not allow ineffective teachers to remain in their positions.  
 
One might wonder why I would leave Loudoun County Schools, who pays their teachers $8,000-$12,000 more a year than Berkeley County Schools. I wanted to have a positive impact on my children's education. I wanted to be a part of the school where my children attended school daily. I wanted to bring my knowledge of programs that were effective and could raise the student achievement here in West Virginia's schools. I have been blessed to work with many caring teachers over the years. The teachers in Virginia cared about their students, just as much has the teachers in West Virginia care about their students.  
 
The biggest differences I have noticed between the two states are in the form of resources. Loudoun County had more financial resources, technology resources, and utilized more researched based instructional programs than Berkeley County. Programs used to increase student achievement were chosen based on research. Teachers were respected in Loudoun County, and currently there evaluations are NOT based on high stakes testing. They did add a component using SMART goals, but these goals are directly linked to the student achievement on tests that are teacher created or IEP goals/objectives.  
 
As we increase "pressure" on teachers, we increase this "pressure" on our students. Our students can only handle so much. We expect all students to be little "factories" that produce the same result over and over. Students with anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, etc. are becoming more the norm due to this pressure. As a parent of three children, I see this in my own children due to the testing stress we are putting on our children. Please, when you consider what is best for education in this great state of West Virginia, don't only think about raising student achievement at any cost. Please consider doing it in a caring, responsible, and appropriate manner so that our children don't become more stressed and more anxiety filled. Testing has its place in education, but it should not be the Holy Grail to determine if our students are learning. Just take a walk around a school, and you will know if it is providing a quality education or not. You don't need to look at the test scores, because "figures lie" and "liars figure".  
 
Thanks for your time.  
 
Mr. Shane Shaffer  
 
 
Here are a few links that are researched based.  
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-rahm-emanuel-and-the-new-york-times-are-wrong-about-teacher-evaluation/2012/09/12/d0c53044-fce7-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_blog.html  
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-rahm-emanuel-and-the-new-york-times-are-wrong-about-teacher-evaluation/2012/09/12/d0c53044-fce7-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_blog.html
12-17Shane Shaffer
Teacher/Parent
NA
Martinsburg, WV
(This is my "final" published copy of my comments. I did not edit my first comments. These comments were edited. Thank you. )  
 
First, I want to begin by saying that I am the father of three children who attend the public schools in West Virginia. I have spent 13 years teaching students. For ten of those years, I taught in Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, which is considered a "high performing" district in our country. For all of those ten years, my fourth grade students took the high-stakes Standard of Learning tests each spring. My students passed between rates of 95%-100% year after year in mathematics and reading. For the past three years, I have taught in Berkeley County Schools. I was a 7th grade science teacher my first year in Berkeley County at Spring Mills Middle School. 53% of my science students achieved a proficient/mastery/above mastery score or better on the WESTEST for the 2010-2011 school year. When you look at this score and you compare it to my pass rates in Virginia, one might think how terrible. The students whom I taught went from pass rates in the high 90's to the low 50's once I came to West Virginia. When I compare my science scores to other science scores in my county, the 53% was the highest percentage in my entire county (there are 5 other middle schools in my county). In reality, these scores were quite good. But, of course, we want to improve on these scores.  
 
The reason I tell you these above facts are for this reason. Was I an "exceptional" teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia for 10 years? But, then was I a "poor" quality teacher in West Virginia because my students all of a sudden scored 53% on the WESTEST? I can tell you that I put more sweat, tears, and effort into my teacher in WV than I did in Virginia. The students needed "more" from me. I gave it all I had. Teachers cannot be judged based on a single test score. It is not appropriate. Many experts in the data and educational fields have done research which shows that evaluating teachers based on test scores does NOT improve student achievement, nor is it fair to the teachers.  
 
Having said this, I also feel that ineffective teachers must be removed from the classroom. Principals and teachers can identify weak or ineffective teachers very quickly. Teachers who are ineffective do not last long in education in today's educational environment. It is time to let the teachers teach. Respect them. Allow them to do their jobs. The current system in place still weeds out ineffective teachers. Principals do not allow ineffective teachers to remain in their positions.  
 
One might wonder why I would leave Loudoun County Schools, who pays their teachers $8,000-$12,000 more a year than Berkeley County Schools. I wanted to have a positive impact on my children's education. I wanted to be a part of the school where my children attended school daily. I wanted to bring my knowledge of programs that were effective and could raise the student achievement here in West Virginia's schools. I have been blessed to work with many caring teachers over the years. The teachers in Virginia cared about their students, just as much has the teachers in West Virginia care about their students.  
 
The biggest differences I have noticed between the two states are in the form of resources. Loudoun County had more financial resources, technological resources, and utilized more researched based instructional programs than Berkeley County. Programs used to increase student achievement were chosen based on research. Teachers were respected in Loudoun County, and currently their evaluations are NOT based on high stakes testing. They did add a component using SMART goals, but these goals are directly linked to the student achievement on tests that are teacher created or IEP goals/objectives.  
 
As we increase "pressure" on teachers, we increase this "pressure" on our students. Our students can only handle so much. We expect all students to be little "factories" that produce the same results over and over. Students with anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, etc. are becoming more the norm due to this pressure. As a parent of three children, I see this in my own children due to the testing stress we are putting on our children. Please, when you consider what is best for education in this great state of West Virginia, don't only think about raising student achievement at any cost. Please consider doing it in a caring, responsible, and appropriate manner so that our children don't become more stressed and more anxiety filled. Testing has its place in education, but it should not be the Holy Grail to determine if our students are learning. Just take a walk around a school, and you will know if it is providing a quality education or not. You don't need to look at the test scores, because "figures lie" and "liars figure".  
Thanks for your time.  
Mr. Shane Shaffer  
 
 
Here are a few links that provide researched based explanations.  
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-rahm-emanuel-and-the-new-york-times-are-wrong-about-teacher-evaluation/2012/09/12/d0c53044-fce7-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_blog.html  
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-rahm-emanuel-and-the-new-york-times-are-wrong-about-teacher-evaluation/2012/09/12/d0c53044-fce7-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_blog.html
12-19Mike Rogers
Teacher
Teacher
Morgantown, wv
This audit response doesn't really address any of the top heaviness. I believe it misrepresents the truth and looks like someone's personal agenda. It would be nice to add more specialist for reading and math, and not more administration. Ask teachers what they need!Not the bosses!This audit has very little reliability or validity and is very embarrasing for the people of WV! It should be about the children! Stop Nepotism and Cronyism from ruinning our education system.
12-20Melinda Embrey
School Nurse
Kanawha county School
Charleston, WV
We need Certified Bachelor's Degree School nurses in every school not contracted school health services. School nurses are unique and specialized professional that requires education, training and certification to deliver the health care and health promotion that each student and school requires for healthy living and safety. I use to think that school nursing would be easy especially when I worked in a hospital setting. I was totally incorrect, as a school nurse we have have education and training beyond the four year nursing degree, we are fundamental in the educational system in proventing diseases and promoting optimal health and safety through education and the whole educational process including IEP's, SAT's and 504'. We are a part of the Eduational team. School nurses provide consistency that students need, we also help students maintain attendance in the "no child left behind Act".
12-20Danita Nellhaus
RN/ School Nurse
Kanawha County Board of Education / Health Services
Charleston, WV
The current Code and rules regarding maintaining certified school nurses as the health care case managers must be supported.  
School nurses provide competency and consistency for students and serve as health care case managers. We coordinate and collaborate with school staff, families and community agencies to insure that students are safe and that health needs of all are met during the school day.  
School nurses receive additional education and training beyond the four year nursing degree that equips them to function in a unique and specialized position within the education system.  
Our days are spent in screening, assessing and follow up. Relationships with family members are an integral part of the care we provide.Contracting for school health services destroys the consistency and quality of the services provided. The turnover of staff in these agencies is high, destroying the relationship b uilding and comfort levels that are essential in dealing with children and families and their health issues, many of which are quite sensitive.  
West Virginia's certified school nurses provide the most cost effective, comprehensive and quality health care for the students in our schools.
12-20Susan Santrock, RN
National & State Certified School Nurse
Nursing
Charleston, WV
I am sure you have heard the saying, "You get what you pay for!" This is precisely what will happen if the state begins to contract nurses into the school system. School Nursing is a specialized form of nursing. Therefore, it requires special education and certification in order to prepare the nurse to perform as a competent School Nurse. School Nurses must abide by school nursing codes and standards of care particular to their practice that can only be acheived via specialized instruction and practice. A contract nurse will have none of this preparation and will be ill-equipped to perform the various duties of a Certified School Nurse.
12-20Deborah Kaplan
School Nurse Coordinator
Raleigh County Board of Education
Beckley, WV
School Heath services have been contracted in the past. It is not cost effective and destroys the consistency and quality of services provided. Providers of contracted services do not answer to the school system. The turnover of staff in these agencies is historically high, destroying the relationship and comfort levels that are essential in dealing with children and families and their health issues, some of which are very sensitive. School based health centers only see students that have written permission from parents to serve. They are a valuable resource for families and school nurses, but cannot substitute for the school nurse. West Virginia's certified school nurses provide the most cost effective, comprehensive and quality health care for the students in our schools. School nurses receive additional education and training beyond the four year nursing degree that equip them to function in a unique and specialized position within the school system. School nurses provide competency and consistency for students and serve as health care case managers, thus insuring that students are safe, and that health care needs are met throughout the day. To change the state code to allow less qualified persons to treat our students health care needs, would be a step in the wrong direction. Please leave our state code and school law concerning school health issues as is. Thank you.
12-20Jody Sperry
School Nurse
HCBOE
Clarksburg, WV
In regards to the WVBOE recommendation to modify code to allow counties to use appropriate health care services: I disagree with this recommendation. To ammend the law would be allowing for counties to contract out all school nurse positions. This will not allow for continuity of care of the students with specialized health care needs. The nurses contracted would not be certified school nurses (who are RN's with a bachelor plus additional education to be certified). The cost savings that the WVBOE says will come from ammending the law will really not be there. The contracting agencies will bill other state and federal entities (Medicaid or CHIPS) as well as billing local BOE's for contracting services. On the local level, some BOE's would see a cost savings, but the health and well being of our students is too important to attempt to get the needed health care for a cheaper price!
12-20Denise Wise
School Nurse
Kanawha County Schools
Charleston, wv
I would like to address the idea of hiring agency nurses to provide care to our students. I have worked very hard and had specialized training to become a school nurse. School nursing is not a task centered position, which is often how nursing agencies focus their care. I perform many specialized procedures in my school setting, procedures that are reequired to be performed by an RN. That is not all I do. I have built relationships with families, students, teachers, staff and the community. These people and entities have trust and confidence in me. I am vital to the educational team. I have the best interest of my students in the forefront of my mind at all times. I did not train and study to become a school nurse for the money, I became a school nurse because it is my passion. It is my passion to see students reach the fullest of their potential in their health, care of self and education. Nurses from an agency would not have these same passions. I have worked with agency nurses in the hospital setting, they are very task oriented. If we want the best for our students, we hire the best teachers to mold our youth, why would we not feel the same about school nurses? It isn't a cookie cutter job, it is speicailized and it is demanding. I don't believe our communities, parents and staff would trust the school system as much without highly trained school nurses.
12-20Anthony Jafari
RN
KCS
Charleston, WV
Contracting out school health services would be doing a disservice to the students and the school system in general. Many other states have realized the importance of RN's in the school system and strive to maintain proper nurse to student ratios and to places RN's in as many schools as possible. RN's are a vital part of the well being of our children and have become woven into the internal structure of our school buildings. We provide care and services that contracted systems would not be able to. Aside from the personal impact and relationships RN's form with their students, we act in many areas of health and general well being. RN's are routinely involved in, and many times lead, 504, IEP, and team meetings as well as home visits. From a health standpoint we are the students most active advocate who often fight for proper care with family physicians and pediatricians, many times more than the parents. We oversee and coordinate anything from vaccines to check-ups and beyond. I have only been a RN in the school system for 3 years (I have worked in pediatrics my entire career) and have many instances where I have advocated and produced results relating to healthcare that the parents have failed to produce. Contracted school-based health would be a tragedy to our kids and ruin the hardwork and positive gains achieved by the state in this area. Its time we, as a county, state and nation, put our children first. It makes me angry I have to take time out of my day to defend this stance. We work in the school system because we love our kids and want to fight for them. To contract out the care for our children is astounding. Our values and direction need to be evaluated.  
West Virginia’s certified school nurses provide the most cost effective, comprehensive and quality health care for the students in our schools.
12-20Don Springer
RN, BSN, MS-HCA, CSN
Kanawha County Schools
Cabin Creek, WV
To members of the WVBOE,  
I am writing in response to your ill-conceived recommendation of contracting school health services. Your recommendation could only have been made related to a lack of knowledge pertaining to the dynamics of school health services. Allowing contracted school health services would allow incompetence into the school health system. Associate Degree RN's, LPN's, and medical assistants do not have the skills required to perform the duties of a Bachelor of Science, state certified school RN.  
 
The duties of a school nurse go far beyond applying a band-aid to a scraped knee or taking a temperature and sending a child to a doctor. Certified school nursing BSN/RN's are responsible for the overall well-being and health of a student. Certified school nursing BSN/RN's are involved with the families of students, their teachers, and the students' environments. These components are reviewed and scrutinized. When necessary, interventions are implemented in order to maximize the well-being and health outcomes of the student. Contracted, lesser educated personnel would not be able to perform these duties with any semblance of competence. Certified school nursing BSN/RN's are professionally trained to respond and react to the dynamics of the well-being and health needs of the student. Certified school nursing BSN/RN's are the key component of a child's well-being and health outcomes, especially in the rural environs of W.Va. Associate degree RN's, LPN's, and medical assistants are trained to perform certain procedures; no more.  
Allowing contracted school health personnel would be a great disservice and a travesty to the students and citizenry of W.Va. With the advent of Universal Healthcare, a focus on primary/preventative care is the future. By allowing undereducated, incapable, and an ill-prepared healthcare workforce to permeate the school systems of W.Va., your misguided short-sightedness would, in effect, be promoting a drastic reduction in positive, health-related outcomes. Not only would the health and wellness outcomes of the students be lessened, the healthcare costs associated with the reduction of primary/preventative care would increase exponentially, further burdening the coffers you are trying to protect.  
The continuation of utilizing certified school nursing BSN/RN's is key for the future success of students and their families of W.Va. Not rescinding your recommendation for contracted health services would be a great tragedy for the populace of W.Va. One can only hope you will consider the well-being of the children you serve and the dire consequences if you stay on this malignant path. Remember, a successful child is a healthy child.  
 
Sincerely,  
 
Donald K. Springer RN, BSN, MS-HCA
12-20Connie Harper
RN MSN School Nurse
Kanawha County Schools
Charleston, WV
To whom this may concern:  
I am responding to the recommendation to use school based health center personnel to replace the Certified School Nurse.  
I have worked for many years with school based centers and it is a great service for schools to have a clinical model service for students to get health care, particularly those who do not have a provider. But that is what it is, a clinical model health care service that bills for services. The school nurse provides competency and consistency for students and serves as the health care managers for all students, not just those with permission slips for care. Please reconsider what you are proposing for our children who needs care at school.
12-20Jean Frame
School Nurse
Kanawha County Schools
Charleston, WV
Being a school nurse requires a 4 year Bachelor's degree in nursing plus extra education courses for school nurse certification. There are several requirements with being a school nurse. Not only do we do first aid and acute care for the students. We also serve as an advocate for the student with their education. We actively participate in IEP's, 504, and SAT meetings for individual children. We do vision and hearing screens that aid the specialists to better understand the appropriate education setting for an individual. Our day is full of different aspects of health care that we provide to the children. There are many families that have trouble with transportation issues and they depend on the school nurse to help them assess their children. We are there for the children but also for the staff and the families of the children.
12-20Beth Schramm
school nurse, RN
Kanawha County Schools
charleston, WV
This is a comment reguarding the Audit's recommendation for school health. I can not believe anyone would recommend contracting aides and nurses to do this job. This job is so much bigger than any contracted nurse could complete. Contracted nurses would not be held to the same standards. The Audit also recommends trainning aides to do the job of a school nurse. The only trainning that can be safe for students is a RN school. Trainned aides can never take the place of a certified school nurse's experience or trainning. Children today come with complex and serious issues that require a team to keep them in school. A school nurse that understands the student and the education system is often the only tie bewteen the education and the medical world. The school nurse that knows the student can support the teacher and the student. Please support the current code so our students can receive the support and medical care they need.
12-20Debora Mattingly
PT
CAMC
Charleston, WV
I am very concerned about the recommendation by the WVBOE to use contract school nurses and school based health centers.School nurses are an integral part of the school based support team. The children they serve build a strong rapport with them and often are their strongest allies.School nursing is a speciality within the nursing profession. A hospital or clinic based nurse does not have the same qualities as these nurses.Contracting for school health services is not cost effective. The school based health care centers are based on fee for service and must bill for the services they provide. They also need parental permission to serve the children, so not all children would receive the services.  
West Virginia's certified school nurses provide the most cost effective, comprehensive, and quality health care for the students in our schools.  
Thank you
12-20Alicia Warden, RN
School Health Nurse
Kanawha Co. Schools Health Services
Charleston, WV
Certified school nurses provide student with continuity of care on a daily basis. As a professional part of the multidisciplinary education team, the school nurse serves in many capacities: health care case managers, collaborating with the students medical home, school staffs, families and community agencies to ensure student safety and meeting the health care needs of all students during the school day. Daily interventions (sometimes more than once daily)are needed for students with tracheostomies, diabetes, asthma, etc.; we as nurses have a trusting caring relationship with these students and use that relationship to enhance our assessment skills and better care for these students.
12-20Catherine Shepherd
School Nurse
School Health Services
Cross Lanes, WV
School nursing is a highly specialized service contributing to the process of educating our youth. There is no better feeling than to know one can make a difference each day with a child. I would say the most rewarding experience thus far is when a sixth grader kept coming to my school clinic complaining of leg pain. The mother denied he had a problem, but finally after a couple months of calling her to discuss the student’s problem, she agreed to take him for a check up. She called me a few days later crying and said her son just came out of surgery for a hip replacement and wanted to thank me for encouraging her to take him to get looked at.  
I invite each and every one you to come spend a day with me. I can tell you countless stories of how I have changed the lifes of children. Please remember in your decision making that there is no doctor or team of nurses to consult as a school nurse. You are all alone. We must have professional RN's making assessment and decisions for our children.  
The school nurse is a vital part of the professional school based support team, serving as a bridge between the education system and the health system. School nurses receive additional education and training beyond the four year nursing degree that equips them to function in a unique and specialized position within the education system, preventing disease and promoting optimum health.
12-20Lisa Shiltz
LPN Instructor
Garnet Career Center
Charleston, WV
School nurses need to maintain a high level of consistency, outsourcing for school nurses would do a huge disservice for our students, it is hard enough to build a rapport with student, particularly your teenage students, this is a high risk population, and our children deserve the best nursing care possible
12-20Shannon Smith
Charleston, WV
Please do not use contract nurses. I am a parent of a child who is in first grade and have used both contract nurses and county nurses while my daughter has attended Pre-K and Elementary school over the last 5 years.  
 
There is a distinct difference, especially from a parent's perspective. Contract nurses do not try to find back-up and simply think it is OK not to come to school or communicate with either the school or the parent. Apparently they think his/her job does not depend upon it and they can easily be placed on another assignment if this doesn't work out. My daughter is medically complicated and I do not have the time or the desire to give a health history to every new contract nurse that shows up for a particular day (which would be lengthy). I'm sure that her teachers would not appreciate having to "educate" a new nurse daily in what is expected in the classroom either. Contract nurses do not KNOW my child and what her daily baseline is medically, nor her personality. Contract nurses only work with the child they are assigned to, however the children see another adult in the school and are constantly asking for assistance.  
 
There have been several times I went to pick my child up from school (along with her equipment) and the county school nurse is consumed with other children. For example, one day it was a sick child laying down, another was actively vomiting, while another had his head split open and had blood running down his hair, face and shirt. I picked up my daughter and her equipment, waved and kept going. This type of day has occurred several times throughout each year. Imagine - this school would typically not have a nurse at all unless my daughter had nursing services written into her IEP.  
 
In fact, I'm a proponent for school nurses in ALL elementary schools. I understand that middle and high schools may not necessarily need a daily nurse, but elementary schools require them. They need someone who can "mother" them, put a band-aid on, give them a hug and dry their tears. Children at this age are uncoordinated, awkward and fall constantly, especially on the playground. A consistent nurse will learn personalities and recognize if a child is looking for attention, trying to skip-out on tests or may even be one of the first people to recognize a serious health or safety issue. A school nurse can also provide the time that a teacher cannot give since the rest of the class requires his/her attention. This is especially true when a special needs child, like my daughter. I'm sure the other parents would not appreciate knowing how much time daily is taken away from their child by the teacher when no nurse is on the premises. A county nurse builds relationships with the parents and the teachers and can be on the lookout for particular issues. The school secretary simply does not know my daughter and does not have the time to handle all these type of emergencies while doing his/her own job responsibilities. Nor does she have the medical training or knowledge.  
 
I have also noticed a difference while my child is in the hospital. It is much easier to arrange for care and changes in school by simply contacting the school nurse vs. several phones to a contract nursing agency, then the school and then the lead county nurse. I trust the nurse to handle communication on my behalf and help with the required paperwork as needed.  
 
To sum up, if a permanent county nurse and her backup are not available to my child, at this point in her school career I would pull her from public school entirely.
12-21Deborah Mougaes
Teacher
Charleston, wv
I support having a school nurse in the school buildings at all times. I am a special Education teacher and use their services quite a bit for our children. With everything going on in this day and age, with recent shootings and such it is necessary that we have a nurse in our building for safety measures too.
12-21Mindy S. Bennett RN
Certified School Nurse
Mineral County Schools
Keyser, WV
In reference to cost: There would not be cost savings to the state if contracting for services were allowed. The contracting agencies would bill other state and federal entities, such as Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as accepting the contracting funds from the school systems. These funds would be coming from the state coffers.  
WV Students have the right, and deserve to receive their education in the safest evironment the state can provide. The health and well being of our students is too important to attempt to get the needed health care for a cheaper price. Certified School Nurses ensure that the best and safest health care is delivered on a daily basis. WV children's safety should not be compromised because of cost constraints.  
West Virginia’s certified school nurses provide the most cost effective, comprehensive and quality health care for the students in our schools.
12-21Janet
Mrs.
Allio
Elkview, WV
A helathy student = successful learning = a healthy adult = lower health care costs for everyone. Please reconsider allowing open access for contracting the health care of our students to outside agencies. Presently, the goal of school nursing is wholistic. This requires an area of expertise unattainable by rotating providers without familiarity of the whole student (social, economic, emotional). It will lower the standard of care from working toward a resolution of needs to bandaiding the situation. The level of acuity of needs requires a matching level of nursing that is not obtainable at a level lower than an RN. Would you want your child with a special need to receive care from many different persons and to only concentrate on one area - such as a diabetic who needs insulin and lives with disabled grandmother on a shoestring income. An outside agency will come in check the blood sugar, administer insulin without addressing physician appointments, making sure supplies are on hand, working with the teacher to cover the emergency plan and making certain that disabled grandmother is able to provide the necessary care. If grandmother cannot provide the care, the school nurse will make the CPS report, etc. to assure the child's medical needs are appropriately met.  
This level of intervention does not happen with a contracted agency. Also, it will actually increase cost to the state. The state will loose Medicaid reimbursement as well as pay a much higher rate that covers the middle man (outside agency) and the caregiver.  
May I suggest implementing part-time RN positions that will allow for a long term commitment of 2-3 days per week?  
Thank you for taking the time to read this comment. The health of our students is not to be taken lightly as A helathy student becomes a healthy adult which in turn will lower health care costs.
12-21Karen Simon
principal
KCS
Charleston, WV
Please don't take away our school nurses! They are an integral part of our family/student support system. They council families and staff on health issues. They are major contributing members of our required school wellness committees. Our students feel comfortable with them in order to effectively address health issues and stay in school.
12-21Saundra Burdette
Speech Therapist
Kanawha County, Elk Elementary School
Charleston, WV
Re:  
Clinics in Public Schools to replace School Nurses  
 
I am writing in support of keeping our school nurses. My office is across from our clinic and I see students going in and out. I typically see students who need bandaids, ice, temperatures taken and head checks for lice. I don't feel a clinic where parents would pay for services is necessary for these kinds of things. I don't see parents at my school wanting to pay for these services, they are not the kind of things you need to see a doctor for.  
On another note, our school nurse, besides being in our clinic, does hearing and vision screenings for students who are referred for special education services and attends IEP meetings for many of our special needs children. She also screens preschool and kindergarten students when we have our roundups. These are services that the county provides through our nurse.  
Please keep our nurses in our schools.
12-21Wendy Carr
School Nurse
Harrison County Board of Education
Clarksburg, WV
December 21, 2012  
To Whom It May Concern,  
The purpose of this letter is to address the recent recommendations based on the Public Works Audit regarding school nursing services. I strongly feel that by implementing the recommendations by the WVDE would negatively impact the students’ safety and welfare, thus increasing the risk of detrimental harm and injury to the student. “By striving to maximize the potential of each individual in the school environment, the school nurse’s “client” now includes the student, his or her family, the community, and the school staff” (Wold, 2001; Wold&Dagg, 2001) Relationships with students, parents, staff and physicians will be affected as evidenced by the following.  
Students  
The relationship a student builds with the school nurse can affect how he/she views a medical condition and overall health. Health counseling is a large aspect of care that the school nurse provides to students with medical need. The student begins to trust the nurse with sensitive and sometimes embarrassing medical issues. Knowing the specific needs of the student helps the nurse to assist him/her in a caring and tactful manner. Also, identifying specific triggers to medical events is a key to safely managing and preventing injury. For example, know that a child has a visual disturbance prior to a seizure could prevent injury from a potential fall.  
The past medical history of the student is also a key component to understanding the medical needs of the student. Knowing what the student has experienced in his/her past can influence the manner in which care is managed.  
Parents  
Establishment of trust is a critical component to the care of the student in the school system. This process begins when students are enrolled and/or diagnosed with a medical health condition. The nurse is often the first point of contact the parent makes to ensure the safety of their child. Often, the information the parent provides includes sensitive medical information that they would prefer not be shared among those not involved directly with their child. It is the role of the certified school nurse to maintain student confidentiality, as well as medical information. When trust is established, the parents are more willing to communicate and offer additional medical information that is necessary to assist their child in the educational setting.  
Knowing the family dynamics is imperative as certified school nurses deal with individual cases. Understanding the demographics and the social aspects of the families and community served, assists the certified school nurse in determining the care for each individual student.  
Staff  
The health and well-being of the student is directly related to the care provided by the school staff. Establishing relationships with the school staff assists the certified school nurse in delegation of specialized health care procedures. Knowing the personalities and integrity of designated school staff ensures safe practice.  
School nurses must train designated school staff on specialized health care procedures. West Virginia Board of Nursing restricts some procedures that may be delegated. Professional nursing judgment is used to determine the appropriate skill level of non-licensed personnel that may be delegated. The delegation/assignment of duties to an LPN/Aid must be preceded by the completion of competencies by the overseeing registered certified school nurse. These duties must be supervised by the registered certified school nurse and must be within the scope of practice. Delegating nursing care requires the registered certified school nurse to train and supervise the individuals of the delegated services. W.Va. Code 30-7A-1, W.Vs. Code 18A-4-8  
Physician  
The certified registered school nurse contacts physicians frequently to clarify orders and manage the care of the student. Understanding the comprehensive medical needs of the student in the school setting ensures that accurate information is communicated with the physician regarding medical care.  
 
With the level of acuity and competencies that are required in today’s schools, I do not feel that contracting nursing services through agencies would be a safe and effective method of care for our students. As mentioned above, school nurses collaborate with various disciplines to provide holistic care to the student while in the school setting. The care a school nurse provides goes far beyond triaging for medical needs. School nurses receive specialized trainings and classes that assist them in managing health and medical needs of the student. School nursing is a specialized nursing field that requires professional certification. The specialized nursing care of school nurses cannot be replaced by contracted nurses, who have not been properly trained and lack the experience/knowledge of the school setting.  
Thank you for taking time to hear my concerns. Please take time to consider and pray about the concerns being expressed regarding the medical care of our students.  
Sincerely,  
Wendy Carr, RN, CSN, MSN
12-21Kellie Dufault
Reading Interventionist
Kanawha City Elementary
Charleston, WV
Contracting school nurses in a large county like Kanawha would not be cost effective, but more importantly it is a move that endangers student safety and health. Schools today have students with a variety of health issues from food allergies to severe medical conditions. School nurses help with our School Assistance Team, and IEP process as well.
12-21Melanie Young
Speech Therapist
Kanawha County Schools - Elk Elementary
Charleston, WV
My office is beside the clinic at the elementary school that I work at. I work at a very large school and there is a lot of traffic that goes in and out of our clinic. Our nurse has many responsibilities during her day. She has students come into the clinic who need bandaids, ice for injuries, head checks for lice, diabetic sugar monitoring, adminstration of medicine and many others. She also has a responsibility to attend IEP meetings for individuals that have medical needs, hearing and vision screenings, as well as medical screenings. She is incharge of preschool and kindergarten round ups as well as providing flu vaccines. Our nurse is constantly with children or staff members answering questions or providing services. I feel that her job or anyother nurse in the school system is very vital. The use of a full service clinic in schools, I feel, would be a disservice to individuals within our school. Not only will they have to pay for services, they may not get the immediate care needed. Although most of our children have pooor health care services, the government can provide just as much assistance outside of school to help with the coverage. I feel that nurses should remain in the school system without the use of a full service clinic. I hope that you will consider my comments on behalf of school nurses.
01-29Levi Marty
Teacher
HHS
Hedgesville, WV
In this audit, the only thing accomplished was wasting taxpayers money. If the board of education in this state was so intelligent, they would have just asked the teachers and staff along with students whom they already have access to. Problems have been brought to light that have been complained about for years and nothing done. As I have read some of these comments, parents seem to think that an overhaul is needed. But they miss the point that it is not an overhaul of teachers or local staff but an overhaul of curriculum itself and the very people who govern it in this state. School has become less rigorous and more about graduation rates and numbers on paper (test scores). We forget these are students and people who have needs that cannot be expressed numerically and who are being left behind because they are not good testtakers like the rest. In this day and age, you figure we could look beyond numbers and see the real issues that these children have, besides not being held accountable anymore in school and being fed through our system. Accountability and a yearly exit exam would clean up alot of the issues we face and put a fix to the educational system we know today.